20 June - 26 June 2016: What video games are you playing this week?
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2016
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1. Video Game: Overwatch [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Video Game: Overwatch
Jonna
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"Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering." ― Steve Maraboli
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नमस्ते (Namaste) – I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.
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I have been playing this a lot lately. The more I play it, the more I like it. I'm still not very good at the game, but I'm gradually getting better. There's way steeper learning curve to this than there was to Payday 2. But I'm thoroughly enjoying my time. And I have bunch of Finnish people to play this game with, so yay! Also, my little brother is playing the game, so I get to spend time with him, too. He lives up in the north, so I don't get to spend f2f time with him much at all.
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2. Video Game: Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:2642]
Video Game: Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad
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I have been in the mood for realism lately and nothing screams realism like listening to a wounded buddy plead for help while I am to scared to leave the crater I am laying in.

The other game I have been playing is Wargame: Red Dragon. Despite really liking the game I have never gotten far in the single player campaign. It feels so much more complex then the first game, but its slowly unpacking for me and I am getting the hang of reading the situation and providing the right units on the campaign map.

I also played Rocket League with
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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finally managing to play something with a fellow VGG member.
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3. Video Game: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:2015]
Video Game: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
Still having a blast with this..I'm getting better so that's helped a lot, too. That being said, once you know you've improved, you have higher expectations, too, which can remove some of the fun from the game.

Still, I've been able to do more of the things I see the good players do on videos and YouTube channels like Nitro kills, going outside as a Defender to get a kill or two, set up good ambushes with murder holes and the like...

For anyone who has given up a bit on the game, I'd say stick with it...there's some really interesting stuff that starts to happen after a certain point of the learning curve, making this the best FPS I've ever played, easily.
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4. Video Game: Overwatch [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Video Game: Overwatch
Having fun with this one because in general, I have no need or expectation to be a star player or even all that good at it. My main goal is simply to learn how to use each of the characters.

I use this game as a fast-twitch warm-up for playing R6 later in the night.

I'm enjoying the art and the Loot Box acquisitions but I wish we had more maps and more varied game modes than just the two (payload or area control).

I'm sure they'll add more over time, though...

But it's a fun little game that I'll play for a while but probably won't stick with too long as it's a bit shallow-feeling at the moment, other than the Character variety (which is nice, thankfully).
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5. Video Game: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:2560]
Video Game: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
Ryan Gatti
United States
Portland
Oregon
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I wanted to start an RPG, and this looked promising. So far, it has potential, but I'm just getting started.
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6. Video Game: The LEGO Movie Videogame [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:3804]
Video Game: The LEGO Movie Videogame
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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I've been playing this a lot lately... both with my kids, to play through the story, and by myself to unlock characters etc.

It's a lot of fun and one of the best Lego games... the multiple Hub system is great... flying works much better in this than in Batman 2.. red bricks are located in the hubs, not in the levels... characters are unlocked by beating the levels, not by completing side missions or finding collectibles, so I've now managed to unlock all characters.
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7. Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1867]
Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Have now finished all quests in Glenumbra, exept for the group dungeon (Spindleclutch). Have finished Bad Man's Hallows, but it doesn't show a fininshed on the map for some reason, think it is a glitch.



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8. Video Game: Her Story [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1170]
Video Game: Her Story
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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I love cargo biking!
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...and videogaming, boardgaming, RPG'ing and helping users as an admin!
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Played this game two evenings in a row with my wife beside me. It was something strange at first but we had a lot of fun.

Especially since my wife sat next to me and asked me to get a controller to play, I told her that it wasn't necessary and she did look a bit puzzled. I had no idea what to expect either I must say.

But we had a blast. It's something special but really fun.
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9. Video Game: Mass Effect 3 [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:68]
Video Game: Mass Effect 3
Amy O'Neal
United States
Mechanicsville
Virginia
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27 hours in and still working on this... Enjoying it so far...

Finished this at about 35 hours...

Made peace between the geth and the quarians... Romanced Lt.Traynor after Thane Krios died... At the end, I melded the synthetics and organics together and became Shepherd Eternal...
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10. Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1867]
Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
I played a few hours with my brother on the weekend. He loves the PvP zones and wants to do that, I like PvE, so not sure how much we'll actually be playing together if that all he wants to do. Hmm.. My life is hard enough without getting ganked by some people online all day.
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11. Video Game: Alpha Protocol [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1449]
Video Game: Alpha Protocol
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Indiana
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Been working my way through this (my third full playthrough, but first in a couple of years).

Having a ton of fun. With this run, I've basically covered all three general 'builds' that are available, and also explored the 'descent into nihilism' route for Thorton as a character. I'm very surprised by how well thought out the mechanics are for both shotguns and SMGs, since the goal here is to make combat more about how you've invested in skillpoints and less about standard twitch-shooting. Gun-builds are effective in Alpha Protocol, but they don't seem to offer the godlike optimizations of a Stealth build or a Melee build. The fact that dash-in martial arts is so effective as a build continues to impress me, even though that's not how I'm playing the game now.

I decided to do the second half of Taipei twice, since I'm going for Platinum and one of the only trophies I need is "Never Trust a Sociopath" (where you get yourself so far on the bad side of the unhinged operative Steven Heck that he sells you out after the chapter finale). I couldn't commit to that, since from a role-playing perspective, Thorton is increasingly nihilistic and destructive, and finds a macabre kinship with Heck as well as the perfect ally.

Only two missions to go in Taipei and then it's off to the final mission. I'm going for the endgame conditions "Judge, Jury, and Executioner," as well as "No Time for Romance."

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I have to say, the role-playing is more effective than I thought it would be. It's interesting to see how Thorton's connection with Scarlet Lake is both minimized (if you're relentlessly blackmailing Halbech instead of developing her as a contact) and slightly undercut by a few dialogue options. I love how you get to the end of Taipei without having any real notion of her place in things, and with her giving you some 'shade.'

I also like how my relationship with Mina Teng has been a see-saw. She sees us as allies of circumstance, and finds things to like about Mike initially. But she's unsettled by a lack of restraint in Rome (enough to put things back on neutral footing), further shaken if you exact vengence on Surkov in Moscow, and then watches in horror at the hotel bloodbath in Taipai (my reputation went all the way from Neutral to Hatred).

Not using shotguns much at this point. Very efficient in the first 30-40% of the game... but SMGs are too good in pitched firefights. Especially now that I have Brayko's guns. I have SMGs at rank 7 and toughness maxed out. I should be set for the endgame.

If this had been produced on, say, the Mass Effect 2 engine (or the Hitman Absolution engine), it would easily be in my top 5 PS3 titles.
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12. Video Game: Marvel Heroes [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:4856]
Video Game: Marvel Heroes
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North Adams
Massachusetts
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This month is anniversary month, so there are cake slices you collect to get various cool items and even 1 free inventory tab. But it isn't enough; the amount of loot dropping during this crazy-town event is pretty overwhelming, and my inventory fills up (only with uniques/artifacts and special items, nothing merely rare) every few minutes or so. It's sort of preposterous, and inventory management is overwhelming. On the other hand, I get to play as Daredevil and beat up the Kingpin, after watching Daredevil on Netflix and reading a Daredevil comic collection last week. So, still fun.
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13. Video Game: SolForge [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:1740]
Video Game: SolForge
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United States
North Adams
Massachusetts
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Where do I even start?

They released the new client. It had some improvements, some deprovements, and some horrible bugs. 85% of the horrible bugs (and the horrible lag) have been addressed. There are still a few issues. But more pressingly, lots of features of the old client were removed, which was very annoying for everyone. I remain hopeful/optimistic that they will address most of these eventually -- they were already quick to hear the community outcry and return untimed games against friends (which they'd removed) and change one of the daily ticket rewards from games played to games won, so you can still get a ticket a day even if everyone beats you.

But some features are still deproved. The deck listing in your collection is no longer alphabetical. The deckbuilder has lost functionality, like being able to sort by or even see values for att/def/quantity all at once in a list. And they removed the "Next" button that made playing multiple games at once work well.

Still, there are some improvements. The horrible lag is gone. The friendslist is alphabetized. The interface is a bit more modern and intuitive. And there's now a ranked ladder which will admittedly work a lot better if there's ever the player base to support it. But I think they still need to improve a few more things before the marketing press.

EDIT: Also there's a new set. I only have one of the legends -- Blitzmane the aggro dragon (aggressive/raid) -- but overall the new mechanics of raid/formation seem to promote having many mobs at once. Although I was very glad to see a card like Savage Twister which punishes opponents for having all full lanes; would like to see more cards like that.
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14. Video Game: Sir, You Are Being Hunted [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:4930]
Video Game: Sir, You Are Being Hunted
Kurt R
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
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All life is only a set of pictures in the brain, among which there is no difference betwixt those born of real things and those born of inward dreamings, and no cause to value the one above the other.
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OK, I must be missing something here because despite seeing complaints that the game is too easy, I'm having a helluva time with it. I've spent over 4 hours so far and only gotten one shard so far. But then I restarted the game anyway so I have to redo it.

I get the idea of throwing a stone or setting an alarm clock to make noise so as to distract the robots, but for some reason, once I do that, they simply make a beeline for where I'm "hiding" and shoot me to death. The one shard I got simply by rushing and grabbing the piece then running off while being shot half to death, heheh.

I love being the pursued much more than the pursuer and the hiding is super fun here. I love skulking around and using my binoculars and planning how to get somewhere without being seen. I just wish the game were at least somewhat easier -- and/or I need to learn the trick of the distraction ploy.

I'll let it sit for a while and come back to it later.
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15. Video Game: Rocket League [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:280]
Video Game: Rocket League
Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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Played some qualifying matches of this with my brother to get into ranked so we could unlock that sweet league reward boost trail. We got rekt by a couple players, and then mostly won our matches. Still prospect, though. That skill ceiling seems pretty ridiculous. This game sure is fun, though, and great for casual play in short bursts, and it has a surprising amount of polish in its presentation, which is great.
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16. Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:1867]
Video Game: The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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Wooot! Finally got out of the first area.
I'm going sword and board with a poison dagger and shield.
Apparently I'll have to wait for level 15, before I can switch gear on the fly. So, 8 more levels...then I'll try out my magic bow.

Slowly, I'm learning Blacksmithing. Probably going to skip the whole alchemy and cooking stuff. The only recipes I know are chicken and jasmine tea. We shall see.

This game is lots of fun. When other characters appear during my quests, where they shouldn't be, I pretend they are magical spirit wisps that have broken the space time continuum. That way it doesn't bother my immersion.


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17. Video Game: South Park: The Stick of Truth [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:406]
Video Game: South Park: The Stick of Truth
Josh Malbon
United States
Santa Cruz
California
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After playing this game, I don't think passing gas will ever be the same. laugh

Holy cats, just reading some of the item descriptions is hilarious.
This game isn't the greatest, but they definitely put a lot of love into it.
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18. Video Game: Portal 2 [Average Rating:8.80 Overall Rank:1] [Average Rating:8.80 Unranked]
Video Game: Portal 2
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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I love cargo biking!
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A new coop started with my wife last evening. We are running through portal 2 on local coop. We are in the second area and having fun. It's great to be back at the centre, even though I'm now playing Atlas.
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19. Video Game: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:442]
Video Game: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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I love cargo biking!
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...and videogaming, boardgaming, RPG'ing and helping users as an admin!
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And I'm still enjoying this, time to face the black captain. Still have a nemesis wondering around, all the other captains are really underpowered against me. Well what's left of them anyway.
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20. Video Game: The Evil Within [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1697]
Video Game: The Evil Within
Enjoy some homing fireballs!
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Arlington
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So, after abortive attempts at playing Beyond Good and Evil and Shadow Warrior, I jumped onboard this one.

I've been meaning to play this for a while -- Mikami has never done any wrong in my books, at least when he's in the director's chair (offer not valid when he's in a producer role...). But, this may be his best yet. God damn, he hit it clear out of the park with The Evil Within. All of the traits that have defined his career -- the horror-movie inspired aesthetics blending to the mechanics with the intentionally awkward camera angles, the slow-burn pacing and resource austerity, the "one screen at a time" action puzzles, the fast breaks from slow-burn to visceral and violent action with heavy simulation tendencies -- it's all present, but now wrapped up in a surprisingly effective stealth system that works perfectly with the slow-burn pacing and the horror-movie camera angles. Third person stealth games have always had issues with information asymmetry between camera and world LoS (the player knows more than he really should, reducing the proceedings to 3D Pac-Man), but Mikami's distinctive camera framing reduces this greatly, and stealth naturally blends well with resource austerity and slow-burn pacing.

I can't wait to jump into more of this tomorrow night.
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21. Video Game: Overwatch [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:288] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Video Game: Overwatch
Andrew Schoonmaker
United States
Long Beach
California
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Overwatch! Overwatch! Overwatch!!![/Laharl]

Uh, anyway, I've been playing a bunch of this. Right now it has the nice Blizzard effect going on where seemingly half the video game players I know, and some people who I did not realize were video game players, are playing this (much like Diablo III was at launch), so I can usually find somebody to group up with for a game.

The solo play experience is still fun, but more chaotic... the players down at my solo-queue level are seemingly a lot worse than the ones I get when grouped (I am no great shakes at the game myself), which sometimes leads to more lopsided matches.

I've played a little bit of everybody now, although I gravitate towards the supports (I think I have about twice the time played as Lucio as I have for anybody else) and some of the defensive characters (Mei, Junkrat). I still have little confidence in my sniping, although I also haven't tried much. Given that sniper rifles are my preferred loadout in Payday 2, this seems a little odd, but I guess it's true what Han says, "good against remotes is one thing; good against the living..."

I don't have much of a sense of whether the levels are particularly well-designed or not (although I have no particular complaints). None of the characters seem grossly OP. One thing that Blizzard has done well is fast-fail on match balance -- particularly on capture maps, if the teams are grossly unbalanced, the weaker side will generally lose fairly quickly, letting everybody get on to the next match sooner. There are also a reasonable selection of characters that can be played moderately well even without being able to aim much (either because of auto-aimed weapons or because they build things that shoot the enemies for you), which is nice.

It remains to be seen how long I will stick with it, although I am optimistic for the present.
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22. Video Game: Master of Orion [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:8.23 Unranked]
Video Game: Master of Orion
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—’ the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. ‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more bread-and-butter—’"
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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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So far, just good old MoO (and a few traditional card and board games played against a computer AI, plus Race for the Galaxy AI).

Back to playing on average level, for peace of mind. Last night I finished a game as the Darloks. My enemies were Silicoids, Alkaris, and Psilons. The Silicoids intruded into my space early, as they're wont to do, but I kept the peace and expanded (and stole all the technology I could get, passing the blame off on others usually). But I couldn't stir up enough animosity between the other races, and there came a point where they all agreed that even a Silicoid emperor would be preferable to a Darlok. I, of course, disagreed, rejected the council's decision, and thus got drawn into final war.

Knocked the Psilons out early. Soon captured their home planet and the Silicoids' too. The Alkaris were further away and outnumbered me in fighting ships, but no matter; the scales had tipped decisively in my favor. It took a couple more hours, but I slowly but surely conquered the entire galaxy. Hooray for me.

* * *
I'm back to my long-standing frustration with gaming this week. There's an internal paradox I perpetually struggle with: I want a game I know all about and have great skill at and can usually win (because that's what brings me satisfaction and makes it all worthwhile), but it has to be a game that's always challenging and interesting (because otherwise I'm just a toddler playing around in a sandbox). The MoO game described above was pretty boring overall; in other games I've been on such a long losing streak that I'm starting to feel hopeless.

But FWIW, real life has been good lately--wonderful even!
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23. Video Game: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Console/PC) [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:841]
Video Game: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Console/PC)
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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My wife and I started playing this co-op last night.. we played for about 2 hours.

It's fun that in-between missions you have to learn spells or potions and then practice them a bit.

Playing all these Lego games it's interesting to see what features were obviously added with each new iteration and how the basic gameplay is blended to fit the different themes.
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24. Video Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:772] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Video Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse
Andy
United Kingdom
Manchester
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I picked this up from Indie Gala for £2, thanks to a super sweet deal.

On my lunch break I played through the tutorial and it was a lot of fun. I managed to defeat the Baron, even though Tachyon was killed, and Legacy was down to 1 HP.
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25. Video Game: Shadow of the Colossus (2005) [Average Rating:8.36 Overall Rank:38]
Video Game: Shadow of the Colossus (2005)
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
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I'm about an hour into this.

So far it doesn't seem to have much substance. Find colossi, try to kill it and move to the next. And hunt lizards/birds in the meantime?

I found the first colossus. I found it quite difficult to battle. Much time spent trying to find out what the game even wanted me to do. Controls are not as responsive as I would like, and a bit unintuitive. So even after figuring out what I think the game wants me to do, I couldn't accomplish it.

So far I'm not really excited about this. But it's on my hardcore list, and for some reason there are people who think it is better than ICO.

Maybe it will pick up.
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